August 24, 2009

Samuel talks about being No. 1

Richard Samuel isn't about to rest on his laurels.

Just because the sophomore appears set to be the starter for Georgia's season-opener at Oklahoma State, that doesn't mean Samuel can start to relax.

"I know I've got to step it up to another level since Coach (Mark) Richt) said I'm a solid No. 1," Samuel said after Monday's practice. "I've got to step my game up to help the offense."

Richt is confident Samuel will be able to do just that.

"I think last year's game experience helped him a lot, that and just being strong, fresh and ready to go," Richt said. "I'm not surprised. He's smart. He now has a very good feel for what he's doing. Richard has a lot better feel for our blocking schemes. He seems to be reading it a lot better and seems to be playing with a high amount of energy right now."

He's also doing an excellent job of holding onto the ball.

Turnovers were a problem for the Cartersville native, who Monday said he currently weighs 224 pounds.

"I haven't had any fumbles (this preseason)," Samuel said.

Carlton Thomas continues to run with the second unit, with redshirt freshman Dontavius Jackson, junior walk-on Kalvin Daniels and freshman Washaun Ealey also battling for carries.

Redshirt sophomore Caleb King continues to sit out practice while recovering from a hamstring. King did not make himself available for interviews following Monday's practice.

Dawgs work out in full pads

Georgia returned to the practice field Monday, working out for two hours in preparation for its season-opener at Oklahoma State.

Richt was pleased with what he saw.

"We had a little inside drill, some live open-field tackling drills," Richt said. "(Tuesday) we will work mostly on scout team and prepare for our practice game on Wednesday. We'll take Thursday off, go Friday and Saturday and then it's game week."

Afterward, Richt provided an update on some of the Bulldog freshmen wide receivers and tight ends and reiterated that they will see action this season.

"They have to help us," said Richt. "We expect them to play, Marlon (Brown) and Rantavious (Wooten) along with Orson (Charles) and Arthur (Lynch), they will get playing time. They started out good, then hit a wall and now are picking it up again and making progress. That's typical of freshmen in their first camp. But they're getting a ton of opportunities in practice and they'll get a ton of playing time."

Rambo concentrating on one position

After seeing action a free safety, strong safety and nickel back, redshirt freshman Bacarri Rambo says he's now concentrating on one position.

"I'm just focusing on strong safety right now," Rambo said. "They (coaches) just want me to focus on that and get as good as I can."

Rambo is backing up junior Reshad Jones at the position.

"I'm not perfect, but I'm getting better every day," Rambo said.

This and that

• Left tackle Trinton Sturdivant was not at Monday's practice due to an illness but is expected back at practice today. "Trinton had a gestural intestinal problem. I think that's what Ron Courson (team trainer) called it," Richt said. "He's sick. He had a stomach ache. I don't want to get too gory. He was sick."

• Safeties Jones and Bryan Evans practiced, and according to Richt did "just about everything." … Kiante Tripp was back at practice after sitting out almost a week while nursing a shoulder injury, although linebackers Darius Dewberry (hamstring) and Akeem Dent (hamstring) wore green non-contact jerseys. … Center Ben Jones (ankle) did not practice. … Freshman cornerback Jordan Love (toe) has not practiced for over a week but Richt said the Virginia native remains "day-to-day."

• Richt said that there would be no early announcement as to who handle the kickoffs in the opener against Oklahoma State. "I doubt that will ever be announced before the first game so don't ask," Richt said. "We've narrowed it down to two (Blair Walsh and Brandon Bogotay) so that's pretty good."

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